VETERAN Sonchat Ratiwatana urged the country’s youngsters to be more determined to succeed in tennis after winning the singles title at the TATP Singha Pattaya Open yesterday.
The 35-year-old doubles specialist, who normally plays ATP Challenger offshore, beat rising star Pol Wattanakul 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 6-1 as Pol strugggled with a leg injury after the second set at the Greta Resort and Sport Club.
“I’m happy to still be able to win a singles title at this age. But at the same time I’m disappointed that the young guys still can’t beat me,” said Sonchat who won SEA Games doubles gold with twin brother Sanchai in Kuala Lumpur last month.
“I want to tell the young players to be more determined and work harder if they want to play professional tennis. If they still can’t beat me, it doesn’t look good for Thai tennis,” Sonchat said.
Thailand has seriously lacked good singles players since the retirements of Danai Udomchoke and the legendary Paradorn Srichaphan – no one else has even managed to break the top 500 in recent years.
Sonchat and Sanchai would have a much more trouble if they were to take on the two in singles competition.
Pol Wattanakul serves 56 aces to win Sanvo Super Serve award.